Allegany County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court Locations in Allegany County
Each town and village has its own court to handle cases from there. Allegany County has 36 locations to handle small claims court cases for the following villages and towns: Alfred Town, Alfred Village, Allen Town, Alma Town, Almond Town, Amity Town, Andover Town, Andover Village, Angelica Town, Angelica Village, Belfast Town, Belmont Village, Birdsall Town, Bolivar Town, Bolivar Village, Burns Town, Caneadea Town, Centerville Town, Clarksville Town, Cuba Town, Friendship Town, Genesee Town, Granger Town, Grove Town, Hume Town, Independence Town, New Hudson Town, Richburg Village, Rushford Town, Scio Town, Ward Town, Wellsville Town, Wellsville Village, West Almond Town, Willing Town, and Wirt Town.
The small claims court locations are:
Alfred Town Court7 West University Street Alfred, NY 14802
Alfred Village Court7 West University Street Alfred, NY 14802
Allen Town Court4867 Klein Rd Fillmore, NY 14735
Alma Town CourtPO Box 67 Allentown, NY 14707
Almond Town CourtMarvin Lane Municipal Building Almond, NY 14804
Amity Town Court1 Schuyler Street Belmont, NY 14813
Andover Town Court22 East Green Wood Street Andover, NY 14806
Andover Village Court4 Main Street PO Box 944 Andover, NY 14806
Angelica Town Court49 Park Circle PO Box 688 Angelica, NY 14709
Angelica Village Court49 Park Circle PO Box 688 Angelica, NY 14709
Belfast Town Court9 Merton Avenue PO Box 472 Belfast, NY 14711
Belmont Village Court1 Schuyler Street Belmont, NY 14813
Birdsall Town Court9068 County Road 15b Canaseraga, NY 14822
Bolivar Town Court252 Main Street Bolivar, NY 14715
Bolivar Village Court252 Main Street Bolivar, NY 14715
Burns Town Court1682 Route 70 Canaseraga, NY 14822
Caneadea Town CourtPO Box 596 Caneadea, NY 14717
Centerville Town CourtPO Box 71 Centerville, NY 14029
Clarksville Town CourtPO Box 69 W. Clarksville, NY 14786
Cuba Town Court5 Bull Street Cuba, NY 14727
Friendship Town Court50 West Main Street Friendship, NY 14739
Genesee Town CourtPO Box 40 Little Genesee, NY 14754
Granger Town CourtRD 1 PO Box 132 Fillmore, NY 14735
Grove Town CourtTown Hall Canaserga, NY 14822
Hume Town CourtPO Box 302 Fillmore, NY 14735
Independence Town Court38 Marietta Avenue Whitesville, NY 14897
New Hudson Town CourtPO Box 4 Black Creek, NY 14714
Richburg Village Court210 Main Street Town Hall P.O. Box 245 Richburg, NY 14774
Rushford Town Court8999 Main Street PO Box 38 Rushford, NY 14777
Scio Town Court4355 Vandermark Road PO Box 105 Scio, NY 14880
Ward Town Court4414 County Road 10 Vandermark Road Scio, NY 14880
Wellsville Town Court46 South Main Street Wellsville, NY 14895
Wellsville Village Court46 South Main Street Wellsville, NY 14895
West Almond Town Court2701 Karr Valley Road West Almond, NY 14804
Willing Town Court1431 State Route 19 S Wellsville, NY 14895
Wirt Town Court210 Main Street Town Hall PO Box 245 Richburg, NY 14774
Small Claims Court Lingo
A party is one a person, business entity, or public entity that is named as a plaintiff or defendant in a case. A “plaintiff” or “claimant” is the party who brings or initiates the action in Small Claims Court. A “defendant” is the party that is being sued. A third party is also sometimes brought into a case by a defendant if the defendant feels that the third party may be wholly or partly responsible for plaintiff’s claims. A defendant who is interested in filing a third party action should contact the clerk of the local court for the property procedures and filing fees.
How do I find the correct name of the defendant?
If the defendant is a person, you should use the first and last name of the defendant and not a nickname. You should also be able to provide the address of the defendant. Businesses are more tricky because sometimes you do not know how the business is structured. If you contact the Allegany County Clerk’s Office, they will be able to provide you with the proper business name.
Do I have to hire an attorney?
You do not have to hire an attorney to represent you in small claims court (even if you are a business). The procedures and rules for small claims court are actually designed to be simple and informal so that a party does not have to hire an attorney and should be able to represent themselves. A party does have a right to retain an attorney if he, she, or it wishes. Sometimes, when a plaintiff and a defendant have both retained attorneys, the court can transfer the case from small claims to the regular civil part.
What are Allegany County Small Claims Court cases?
The local town or village court hears small claims court cases in Allegany County. In small claims court, individuals can sue for up to $3,000. The purpose of small claims court and the motivation behind the relaxed evidentiary rules and procedures is to allow these cases to be resolved informally and without making a party hire an attorney. Note: If you have a claim for more than $3,000, you cannot separate it into two claims to be under the limit. The only relief available in small claims court cases is monetary. You cannot ask the court to order a defendant to do something (like fix your property damage or fulfill the terms of a contract). A party can only sue for monetary relief. A party may sue a municipality or other public entity. The law requires you to file a claim with that entity within 90 days of the incident which gives rise to your claim. If you do not do this, your case can be dismissed.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential, non-binding dispute resolution program in which an impartial mediator attempts to bring both parties together to a mutually acceptable outcome. A judge may refer a case to mediation if both parties agree. In Allegany County, the program used for mediation is:
Center for Resolution and Justice
Child and Family Services
625 Delaware Avenue, Suite 300
Buffalo, NY 14202
If mediation is not successful, the case remains in small claims court (with a trial). There may be a small filing fee for mediations.
Can I file a counterclaim against the Plaintiff?
A defendant may file a counterclaim against a plaintiff. If the counterclaim is filed within five days of being served with the initial claim, the hearing date remains the same. There is a $3 filing fee. If the counterclaim is filed after the five days, the plaintiff can ask for a later hearing date (and sometimes the court may continue the hearing out even without the plaintiff asking).
What happens if I don’t show up for the hearing?
If the plaintiff fails to appear at the hearing, the case is dismissed. If you are the defendant, the court may grant a default judgment in your absence. The Court will wait approximately one hour (in case you are simply running late) before granting a default judgment.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a type of dispute resolution that is like a less-formal trial. In arbitration, a person (called an arbitrator who is usually an attorney) will hear evidence of the case that each party presents. The arbitrator will then weigh the evidence with the law and issue a final judgment. If both parties agree to arbitration, an arbitrator will often be able to hear a claim before a judge would (because there are more arbitrators than judges). The arbitrator uses the exact same law the judge would follow. An arbitrator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
How much does it cost to file a case in Allegany County?
In Allegany County, the filing fee is $10, if you are asking for $1,000 or less, and $15, if the amount is more than that.
Can I file my small claims case in
The action must be brought in the town or village where the defendant resides (or has an open business office).
Beginning a Small Claims Court Case
You must file your case in the correct location (where the defendant lives or if the defendant is a business than where the business has an open office). The court will provide the necessary forms. These forms will ask for a statement of the case. The statement is a fancy way of asking what your case is about. This should be brief and include all important facts. You should note in the statement of the case if you are requesting interest (which happens if your case concerns property damage or a contract specifies an interest amount). Most courts have a clerk who can assist you to ensure you follow the procedures (and answer questions). In the few courts that do not have clerks, the judge can assist you.
The date and time of the hearing will be provided to you by the clerk. The clerk will “serve” the notice of claim by mailing it to the defendant (this is what part of your filing fee funds). This notice informs a defendant the time and location of the hearing and states the reason for the claim being made by plaintiff. The notice is sent by certified mail and first-class mail. If the notice sent by first-class mail is not returned as undeliverable, the defendant is deemed to be “served,” even if the notice sent by certified mail has not been delivered (otherwise a defendant could simply refuse to sign for the certified mail). If the defendant cannot be served by mail, the clerk can provide you with instructions on how to serve the defendant personally (the clerk will give you a new hearing date and time). Due Process (a fancy way of saying fairness) requires that the defendant be served prior to a hearing on your case. The claim will be dismissed after four months if the defendant has not been served. Dismissal is without prejudice meaning you can refile if you learn new information that the defendant is still residing in that village or town.
Do I get a jury trial in small claims court?
Only the defendant can demand a jury trial in small claims court cases. This demand can be made at any time prior to the hearing date. An affidavit (sworn statement) has to be filed which identifies the factual issues a jury is needed to hear. The judge will then decide whether the case will remain in small claims court or be transferred to the regular civil part. If the case remains in regular small claims court, six jurors are used to hear the case.
Am I able to sue in small claims court?
In order to file an action, you must be 18 years of age or older. If someone is younger than 18, a parent or legal guardian is able to bring an action on behalf of the minor. Corporate entities, partnerships, and other entities cannot file in small claims court. Their actions must be filed in Commercial Claims Court. These entities can only act as defendants in small claims court. These corporate entities are able to be sued in small claims court. When a business, corporation, or other entity is sued, the entity is able to authorize a person (usually an employee, director, or attorney) to appear on its behalf.
How do I get a continuance?
In small claims court cases, a continuance can also be called an adjournment. These are discouraged as the purpose of small claims court is a quick, efficient way of resolving disputes. Only the court can give you a continuance (even if you have talked to the other party and agreed to a later date). If you want a continuance, you can ask the court through mail. You should send a copy of the request to all the parties involved in the case as well. You can also ask for a continuance on the actual day of the hearng, but the court may be inclined to deny it (because you waited so long to ask for one). Always be prepared to go forward on that date in case the court denies your request.
Small Claims Court Appeals for Allegany County Cases
The deadline for appealing a small claims court judgment is 30 days (if you receive the judgment in court or have been personally delivered the judgment) or 35 days after the court or other party mails you the judgment. There are fees for filing a notice of appeal as well as additional costs for purchasing a transcript (if a court reporter was present). The small claims court clerk has specific information regarding fees associated with appeals. An appellate court will only reverse a small claims court judgment if the ruling meets the “clearly erroneous” standard. Some people find it useful to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to file an appeal.
Hearing Day Procedures
We recommend arriving at least fifteen minutes prior so you can have time to check in and make sure you are at the right place. When you arrive, look for the small claims court calendar (or the clerk). Cases are listed on the calendar by the last name of the plaintiff and the last name of the defendant (or full name of the business or other entity). If you cannot find your case, you should contact the clerk (or judge if there is no clerk). Some courtrooms have the parties check in as they arrive. In others, the parties only check in when their case is called.
When your case is called, be ready to tell the judge if you are ready for the case to go forward (and the judge to hear your evidence) or if you need to make a request (like a request for a continuance). If both sides are ready, the court will proceed to hear the case.